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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

To GLAZE or not to glaze?

lorentzphamilyFebruary 8, 2013
It's a long story, but we are about to move into our new home and the kitchen island was not finished as planned in our contract. (Let's not dwell on the details. The right people are accepting responsibility.) We have an enameled (Navajo White) island in our kitchen (with other cabinetry in the kitchen in Bronze Walnut). The enamel was planned to have a coffee glaze that just never got done! Please see attached photo.

The cabinet people can still do the glaze, but they are recommending AGAINST the glaze for a couple of reasons. They say the plain enamel will stand up better to wear and tear (ie. kicking from three little girls on stools at the island). They say that imperfections in the glaze will be a lot more obvious than in plain enamel. Second, they tell us that they have not done a glaze in any homes for various builders for almost a year. Basically, the carpenter is saying that the glaze is a trend that is past its prime.

Is it true that no one is glazing any more?
Will creamy enamel (with topcoating, but NO glaze) truly stand up better to the abuse of my three little ones?

I am anxious to hear from you all. Thank you in advance!
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I like it how it is. In fact your kitchen looks very similar to the kitchen we are building- similar color cabinets and island, hardware, granite, etc. I'm not sure about the enamel holding up vs. the glaze. There are a ton of pictures on houzz with cabinets and island like this.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Paint the rest white. It would really open up your kitchen.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:21AM
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My opinion - no glaze. I don't know if it's past it's prime or not but I have never been a fan. To me, glazing looks dirty from the get go. The cure for the three little ones kicking the panels is to give them a towel and some cleaner, they get to clean their own scuff marks! I promise you the scuff marks will be reduced.
5 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:26AM
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Samantha Broxton
I don't think glazing as a whole is done but dark glaze over light enamel seems to be unless the theme is french country. It's a very polarizing feature my mom loves it and I think it needs to be scrubbed off. I think the cab guy is right in that it will show imperfections quicker than the enamel because they won't be doing a second topcoating it'll just be sitting on top and exposed to the girls as well as whatever you clean the cabs with.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:50AM
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Maria Killam
Yes, glazing cabinets is dated because you basically end up with a 'beige' coloured cabinet instead of a white or cream cabinet. It belongs with rich coloured earth tones and the cream, beige, brown trend. Not with the black, white, grey trend of today.

Here's a post that explains it further: http://www.mariakillam.com/2011/05/should-you-add-a-glaze-to-your-painted-cabinets-yay-or-nay.html/
Hope this helps,
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:06AM
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I think they are saying it won't stand up is because they are applying it over the finish topcoat and won't adhere as well as if it were done before they finished it. Since they are not going to stand behind it i would leave it as is. I know you are disappointed because it was not your original vision but your kitchen still looks beautiful .
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Benchmark Construction
Glaze is getting a bit past its prime. It will be harder to touch up if it gets scratched or damaged versus the plain white. It is also not really done on a plain shaker door. Don't let them do it until they give you a sample...it looks tacky when done by amateurs.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Maria Killam
I forgot to add that a coffee glaze will add a pink beige undertone to your cabinets which will not be pretty with your existing granite.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:05AM
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My vote would be no glaze. I think you've got a really spectacular look going right now.

The combo of walnut and creamy white counters is one that seems to be showing up more often lately. It's a bit difficult to find photos of walnut cabinets and white cabinets combined. Actually this is the combo I want in my own kitchen so I'm living vicariously thru your photo right now ;-)

Selfish motives aside - I do think a glaze would make your cabinets look a bit 'dirty' as olldbobbi mentions. They look great now - don't tamper with perfection!
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Ironwood Builders
A topcoat is standard over a glaze! It should protect the glaze as well as any painted surface. But glazing is not as popular as it once was. Most of the complex finishes we did in the last decade are going away, trending to fine wooded and back (again) to white. White is a perennial favorite! Stay with it and get some $$ back! Put those girls in stocking feet for awhile too, the wont be kicking much without shoes!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Dezign Studio Inc
I would say go with the glaze an let them finish with a topcoat. Don't loose sight of your dream kitchen
when the kids grow up you might be ready to for a touch up. Then you can choose either. For now I think the coffee glaze will tie in beautifully with your walnut cabinets. Imperfections are part of the beauty if you go with the glaze.You can go to a few kitchen cabinet places and they will have the display of glazes. If you love that ,then go for it. If you don't like it on the display then go enamel.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Thanks to you all for your comments. I knew I could count on the Houzz community for some strong design opinions. What I had not expected was also good parenting advice. :) I will definitely try having the girls scrub their own scuffs marks. Love that idea! I have been enjoying checking the comments between packing boxes.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Nancy McFalls
What you have now isn't as matchy-matchy as kitchens in the past decade, which is good. But the white looks a little garish to me, at least in that photo. What about a coat of a warm light gray? Gray is the It color these days and when it's no longer in vogue, another coat of paint for that area will be a tiny investment.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:39AM
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More Than Murals
If you know what type of paint you are glazing/ or applying a decorative finish over, how to prep it & seal it, that "glaze" finish is going to have a much better look & stronger finish. I custom color my glazes to compliment there surroundings. Decorative finishes on cabinets can be modern, old world, eclectic, & everything in between. Even though the "glaze" medium I use is exterior quality I still top coat my kitchen & bath room finishes w/ a medium rubbed lacquer formulated for wet areas. It sounds like your carpenter is just trying to get of doing anything extra. Decorative finishes on cabinets & islands is probably 85% of my jobs or better. Feel free to look at my website http://morethanmurals.com or the pictures I have here on Houzz.com. The glazed finish will hide minor imperfections plus an additional layer if done correctly can only help your island last longer. I hope this helped.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:23AM
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